The insignia of the Cardassian Union.
It's named for the Galor, a mythical warrior-king who combined Cardassian features with those of a serpent-like lower animal. The Galor was greatly respected among his people for leading his army of masked shadow-warriors to complete victory on numerous occasions. His prowess in battle was respected and feared across Cardassia, as was his dark power of “magic”. Of course, the fearsome, powerful military politician was an image greatly inspiring to the Cardassian Central Command. It is an even more appropriate emblem when one considers the Galor was originally also a religious figure; Central Command exterminated followers of the Cardassian church in order to establish itself as the supreme moral authority; citizens of the Union were then encouraged to identify with the state in an almost religious manner. Note that the Galor’s “eyes” are always watching and judging.
The Galor Banner resembles the Galor, standing upright on its tail, and dressed in the traditional cloak and mask of several obscure religions from ancient Cardassia. The figure is placing the symbolic mask upon his face, and he stands tall and straight, reflecting the ideals of strength and discipline. The Banner is not just one man, however; it also represents the Cardassian civilization as a whole, reminding those who view it that the ethical citizen lives only for the good of the state. The anatomy of the Galor thus corresponds to an abstract representation of Cardassian ideals. The “tail” is a pillar planted firmly in Cardassian soil, drawing strength up from the native land into the mask, while the cloak encompasses the sky, spreading the glory of Cardassia to the stars above. On one side of this widely-spread cloak/sky is a circular representation of the sun or moon - exactly which is no longer relevant, as the old moral binary of day and night has been replaced by the absolute morality of Central Command. On the other side is positioned a symbolic image of a weapon held under one arm. The cupped forearms placing the mask upon the face feature two layers, one inside the other, and are themselves “inside” the cloak, making three layers. This symbolizes the trinity of body, mind and soul; soul inside mind, mind inside body, all here dedicated to the greater good of Cardassia. The “tail” also features three pieces, further reflecting the significance Cardassians place on that number.
There are many variants of the Galor Banner. The colours and other minor elements of the design may be changed at the whim of a local official; only the basic shape must remain similar. Note that the sun/moon symbol may be displayed on either side of the cloaked figure. It is clear that the Central Command preferred the colours pink, green and blue throughout the 24th century, as most of the variants feature these hues. Pink is almost always used for the “legs” and “arms”, green or blue for the “mask/cloak” and a yellow shade for the “sidearm”. Unusual variants in simple orange/brown featured during the reign of Skrain Dukat, in 2373-74. Clearly aiming to make a point about the return to a military government (Cardassia having been under civilian control for several years), Dukat replaced the multi-hued banner with variants reflecting the hull colour of Cardassian military ships. This clearly proved unpopular, for not only did many local commanders keep the Galor as close to traditional as possible under Dukat’s new laws but following his capture by enemy forces in 2374 the design was quickly changed back.
Various institutions, professional organizations, and political subdivisions in Cardassian society use insignia representing a variation on the Galor Banner, including the Cardassian Guard and the Obsidian Order. The former is menacing and dramatic, with a dark blood-red used in place of the traditional colours. Also,where the standard banner depicts the figure in the process of placing the “mask” on his face, in this version it is fully attached, channelling his power and displaying it outwardly, in a manner that is also inviting, thanks to a deep black tone making it reminiscent of an opening. Essentially, it represents an aggressive challenge, as if daring the enemy to do their worst. The insignia of the Obsidian Order is ghostly, seemingly incomplete and placed in silhouette, half hidden in the shadows. While it does encourage a sense of mystery and omnipresence, it is also intended to be a very concrete demonstration of the Order’s presence in Cardassian society. After all, despite its secrecy, the Order keeps its Headquarters in plain sight in the capital city. Their presence is intended to be noticed; they would not have an insignia were this not the case. The symbol serves as a proud statement of the sacrifices the OO agent makes in the defence of Cardassia, surrendering their life piece by piece to the “secrets of the state”. It has no mask; it no longer needs one.